What is refuge?

Refuge is a safe place where you can go if you want to leave home because of your partner or ex-partner's behaviour.

Watch this clip for women on what refuge is like:

Women’s Aid may be able to help by providing safe and secure accommodation for you and your children. None of the workers in refuges will tell anyone that you are staying with them.

What is refuge?

Refuge is somewhere safe, secure and supportive. 
Staff in refuges will provide you with practical tools and emotional support. They will understand what you have been through and  will help you to move on from domestic abuse.

Refuge is somewhere  just for you.
Some refuges are shared and some are self-contained.  You may have to share the living room and kitchen, but will always have your own bedroom. Some refuges are new flats, some are family homes, some are in the city centre and some are in rural areas.

  • Refuge is somewhere for other women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Most refuges provide opportunities to meet other women, children or young people experiencing similar issues. These may be informal chats, facilitated house meetings or more formal group work.
  • Refuge is somewhere that works for you.
  • You may be able to stay in refuge outside of your local area if it feels safer for you to do so.
  • Refuge is somewhere where you are understood.
  • All refuges are able to provide support for all women, however two of our member groups work specifically with women from black or minority ethnic communities and have multi-lingual staff.
  • Refuge is somewhere where children and young people are supported.
  • Refuges in Scotland are able to provide dedicated children’s workers to help children and young people recover and move on from domestic abuse.
  • Refuge is somewhere where any woman with experience of domestic abuse can go.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re living with a partner,married, divorced, gay, straight, bisexual, trans*,have children or not, we can help.

Watch this clip for children and young people on what refuge is like:

Nearest SWA Group

Find your nearest Women's Aid group

Current Activities

Non-consensual sharing of intimate media (NCSIM) is a form of abuse

Read the results of our survey on NCSIM (otherwise known as "revenge porn")



Facts & Figures

On one day in Scotland in 2013, 341 women and 257 children and young people were living in a Women's Aid refuge (SWA 2013)


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